254 LES RELATIONS DES JESUITES [Vol.33 ipsis timebamus ab incursione hostili : sic adeo ut exiguo quantum vis numero, satis tuti tamen et securi viveremus. At longe mutata est facies rerum nos- trarum, totiusque hujus regionis: tot enim cladibus fracti sunt Hurones nostri, ut expugnatis quae in fronte erant praesidiis, ferroque atque igne vastatis, plerique mutare sedes coacti sint, retroque cedere: bine quippe factum est, ut jam alieno nudi praesidio simus; jamque in fronte positi nostris nos viribus, nostris mus. nos animis tueri, nostro nos numero debea- Hanc nostram Sanctae Mariae, arcem dixerim an domum, tutantur qui nobiscum sunt Galli, dum Patres nostri longe lateque excurrunt per oppida Huronum disjecti, perque Algonquinas nationes procul a nobis positas; missioni quisque suae invigilans, solique ministerio verbi intentus, omni cura rerum tempora- lium in eos deposita, qui domi subsistunt: et quidem res domesticae tarn felicem cursum tenent, ut quamvis numerus noster excreverit, atque optemus maxime novum ad nos auxilium mitti, et externorum hominum et patrum praecipue nostrorum ; nullo pacto tamen necesse sit impensas crescere; imo in dies minuuntur magis, minoraque in annos singulos petimus ad nos mitti rerum temporalium subsidia: ita plane ut nos ipsos sustentare maxima ex parte possimus ex iis rebus, quae hie nascuntur. Neque vero ullus nostrum est qui hac in parte magnum levamen non sentiat earum aerumnarum, quae prioribus annis, et omnino graves erant, et insuperabiles videbantur. Habemus enim piscatus et venationis majora quam ante subsidia; nee piscium modo adipem atque ova
1648-49] RAGUENEAU TO FATHER GENERAL 255 lived in safety, without anxiety. But now, far different is the aspect of our affairs and of this whole region ; for so crushed are our Hurons by disasters, that, their outposts being taken and laid waste with fire and sword, most of them have been forced to hence it change their abodes, and retreat elsewhere ; has come to pass that at last we are devoid of the protection of others, and now we, stationed at the front, must defend ourselves with our own strength, our own courage, and our own numbers. This our dwelling—or shall I say our fort?—of Sainte Marie, the French who are with us defend, while our Fathers sally forth, far and wide, scattered among the villages of the Hurons, and through the Algonquin tribes far distant from us,— each one watching over his own mission, and intent only upon the min- istry of the word, leaving all temporal cares to those who remain at home. In truth, domestic matters keep so fortunate a course that, although our number has increased, and we greatly desire new help to be sent us,— both of laymen and, especially, of our own fathers,— still in no wise is it necessary to increase expenses. On the contrary, they are les- sened daily, and each year we ask for less temporal aid to be sent us,— so much so that we can, for the most part, support ourselves upon that which is here produced. Verily, there is not one of our brethren who does not feel in this respect great relief from those distresses which were in former years very burdensome, and seemed insurmountable. For we have larger supplies from fishing and hunting than formerly; and we have not merely fish and eggs, but also pork, and milk products, and even cattle, from which we hope for great addition to our store.